A Cartoon Network MMOG Interview with Chris Waldron
Moving from Screen to Screen
An Interview Chris Waldron, Executive Producer of Fusion Fall
By Garrett Fuller
At the San Diego Comic-Con one of the newest titles we got to see had a birthplace, the animated children features of the Cartoon Network. With the younger generation getting more and more involved in online games and the Internet culture, it seems like companies are really starting to wake up to the fact that everyone is starting to play online games in some form. Chris Waldron, the executive producer on Cartoon Network’s Fusion Fall, certainly didn’t need to be told that children were eagerly gobbling up online games directed at their age group. Chris has been working on the game for several years and now it has taken full form and they are finally ready to show it to the public.
The Cartoon Network MMOG, FusionFall, is trying to entertain both old and young players.
In our chat with Chris, he was able to give us a strong sense of the vision he has for the game and how it incorporates numerous characters from past and present original Cartoon Network shows. Chris was able to get the official green light on the game in 2006 and the whole operation is now up and running at full speed. Chris assembled a team of both MMO developers and Cartoon Network experts to work on Fusion Fall and now we can finally start reading about the results they have all achieved.
The game is geared towards Cartoon Network’s main demographic which is - of course - kids. Players can create their own avatars with loads of customization options and jump right into the Cartoon Network world. This world may be a little different from the original shows that Cartoon Network fans are used too. In this world the characters of popular shows like Power Puff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Billy & Mandy, Kids Next Door, Fosters, and, everyone’s favorite, Dexter’s Laboratory are all a bit older than their current versions and they are all facing a single threat from a deadly planet called Planet Fusion that engulfs other worlds into its own make-up.
This is a Cartoon Network world where Mojo Jojo is working alongside the Power Puff Girls. Yes, even Dexter and Mandark have put aside their endless feud to work together to stop Planet Fusion from ruining the world. Players join their favorite characters in the fight against Planet Fusion’s evil blobs which animate and spawn creatures that corrupt the world.
Garrett playing with his avatar and the cute Nano version of Eduardo.
Not only will players be able to interact with the characters from their favorite shows, but they can collect them. You read that last portion correctly, you can collect smaller versions of the characters of your favorite shows called Nanos. The Nanos act as passive pets for the player and they can help you out with buffs, heals, speed boosts, and combat damage. Players can carry around Eduardo, Mojo Jojo, Samurai Jack, Four-Arms and many other Cartoon Network characters. This feature also acts as a way for players to advance, as certain achievements unlock the ability to carry more Nanos around with your character.
The game is geared around the concept of the thirty minute play session, so kids and parents alike can get the most out of the time they have to play. If you truly enjoy the game, however, you can go even longer and play all night. The game not only offers the fight against the Planet Fusion forces, but there are also plenty of puzzles and tests of player skill in the game. Think back to those old school games that wanted you to jump across platforms, and if you didn’t hit them just right you went down; this is something comparable to what you’ll see in Fusion Fall. Fusion Fall has puzzles in the game that force players to test their skills in fun and challenging ways.
Chris Waldron chats with Garrett Fuller about FusinoFall.
In finishing up our chat with Chris there were three points that he wanted to make clear about the game. The first was re-imagining the Cartoon Network characters and shows. He expressed the privilege he felt working with the great characters of both older and current shows, and breathing new life into the characters really is at the heart of the game. The second point is bringing together the game styles of MMOs with platform game play. By putting puzzles and tests of skill in the MMO, it certainly gives players the experience of skillful platform gaming on a unique level. Lastly, Chris was very excited about the Nanos, which help players along the game. Not only do you get to meet your favorite characters, but you can bring them with you on adventures as part of your character’s make up.
We want to thank Chris for spending time with us and giving us a look at Cartoon Network’s Fusion Fall. Not only is it a great-looking MMO for kids, but gamers will find a lot of surprises in the play styles and features of the game. With more and more MMOs coming to market geared to a younger audience, Chris Waldron and his team are on the right track to deliver a challenging and fun experience to our newest generation of MMO players.
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